Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Newbie's Guide to Crockpot Cooking

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a pioneer kitcheneer, you may consider learning some new tricks using the Slow Cooker Crock Pot. Slow Cookers are super-easy to use, facilitate bulk preparation and enable you to have a week’s worth of leftovers — mmmm!

Buffalo Flowers - a fave crockpot creation.
Here are my top tips for Crock Pot Cooking:

  • Prevent a big mess by using nonstick spray or plastic liners. If you can do one of these two tricks, you will save yourself some soaking and scrubbing time.
  • If you are using a lot of vegetables, watch your liquids. Because veggies cook off a lot of water, especially when covered, you can get away with less broth, water, etc. If you get too much liquid, you’re not out of luck. Try ladling out some liquid in a separate bowl, add 1 tbsp of cornstarch or flour and stir until it’s slightly cool. Then, return that mixture to the uncovered pot for about 15 minutes. It’s better to err on the side of less water because you can always add more.
  • Fill up the pot. The point of the slow cooker is to prepare more food at once, and to cook it efficiently with less monitoring. Slow cookers can burn at the bottom or leak if it overflows. The best measurement is to fill it up about 2/3 full.
  • Embrace your creative crock pot-ness. You really can’t mess this up. Try foods like oats, vegetables, broths, meats, soups, stews, or etouffee. But, if you’re in doubt, check out my favorite resources for recipes over at Hungry-Girl or Greatist.
Buffalo Flowers

Ingredients:
  • 2 bags of frozen cauliflower
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) of Frank's Red Hot Buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup flour (all-purpose, brown rice or oat)
  • Garlic salt and cajun seasoning to taste
Directions:
  1. Spray crock pot with cooking spray or line pot with liner and then spray. 
  2. Toss frozen cauliflower in pot and spray with cooking spray.
  3. Mix flour and seasonings into cauliflower until each piece is coated.
  4. Drizzle hot sauce on top.
  5. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-4 hours.
  6. Mix up sauce as it cooks.

For more tips on meal prepping and cooking or other fun recipes, please check my archives on this blog. Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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